Friday, December 1, 2006

"Everybody here has the ability to do anything I do and much beyond. Some of you will and some of you won't. For those who won't, it will be because you get in your own way, not because the world doesn't allow you."
- Warren Buffett speaking the University of Washington

Why is it that management and leadership and strategy books keep being published when merely adhering to most of them for an adequate amount of time would yield sustained positive results? Why is it that management and leadership theorists and experts keep reinventing the wheel instead of imploring us to just keep our nose to the grindstone until results happen? Why is it that positive thinking (and planning) is no match for negative behavior?
-Mark Goulston

Great question and even greater point especially looking at the church. I've yet to be at a church that follows a simple process with sustained pressure. There are many examples of these churches offering successful processes to follow (Saddleback, Northpoint, Willow), yet so many churches decide to only bite off a piece. Then they bite off a piece of another successful church's process, and on it goes... When churches push back on the total embracing of a process I hear, "We don't want to duplicate Saddleback we just want to be... (fill in your church name here)." I consider that answer to be completely disengaged from the issue at hand. NO CHURCH WILL BECOME SADDLEBACK. The complete and focused adoption of a system will not result in exact duplication. What makes a local church is the fact that it's a local church... it's the people. Unless you decide to clone Rick Warren and all his members, no church has to worry about becoming a Saddleback.
Peeling back this thought: Why would a church be more concerned about originality than effectiveness? When Church leaders get to heaven will God give more props to churches willing to be original or effective?

One of the biggest take aways from my time spent at Seminary is one sentence. It's still ringing in my ears four years later... and it doesn't come from any Bible class. It came from a text in an Interpersonal Relationship class:
"85% of an organizations' problems are the result of structure."

85% is a lot.
Structure (systems) seems simplistic, cold, not focused on people... but think deeply about this.
"Systems create behavior. God is a God of systems." Andy Stanley

See Solar System (above), 9 human body systems etc...

Systems don't change a local church into a clone. But effectiveness will result. My guess is that the 80% of churches in America that are plateaued or declining are due to bad systems... bad leadership...

Simple solution with hard work and focus (see below for focus) could change a countries spiritual landscape. Inspiring.

I also hear many churches saying... "we don't want to become 'corporate' like in the business world." I say, "Why not?" Today the business world has taken something Godly (systems) and is using it better than the church. Their end may be ungodly but they use Godly means to get there... so I say "Bring on corporate!" to the church.

No comments: